John Banville's The Sea won the Booker.
Am I surprised? Nope because the book is excellent. Because I feel Banville moves the novel into new territory - (as I said in an earlier post, can't think of another writer who has captured memory as beautifully as this writer).
So yes, I'm happy with the decision.
And for most readers, I don't think the book is as enjoyable a read as others on the list. It's beautifully written sure - but slow and meandering and melancholy.
According to The Financial Times chairman of the panel, John Sutherland:
... commented on the judges’ debate with the usual politesses – “civilised argument”, “closely contested” etc – but paid eloquent tribute to the winner’s “masterly” and “virtuoso” writing. The Sea is an elegy of grief and love remembered: Sutherland dramatically referred to it as a “slit-your-throat” novel, but its prevailing mood is melancholy.This is the way the voting went in the People's Booker:
498 for Kazuo IshiguroIf you're the kind of reader who values good storytelling above style - go for the Barnes or the Ishiguro or Zadie Smith because you will enjoy yourself much more.
430 for Julian Barnes
240 for Zadie Smith
198 for Ali Smith
181 for John Banville
132 for Sebastian Barry
If you can bear any more about Banville, nice piece from the Guardian . Apparently Banville is a very difficult guy to live with when he's writing. His demeanor is compared to that of "a murderer who's just come back from a particularly bloody killing".